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Tales from Earthsea

(Earthsea Cycle #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  20,371 ratings  ·  898 reviews
The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her introduction, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each stands on its own.

"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and shows how some of its customs and institutions came to be. "The Bones of the E
Kindle Edition, 417 pages
Published May 4th 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Adam Omidpanah You don't need to read Tales. The last short story in Tales introduces a character who plays a pivotal role in TOW, but TOW does an adequate job summa…moreYou don't need to read Tales. The last short story in Tales introduces a character who plays a pivotal role in TOW, but TOW does an adequate job summarizing the events. I found Tales tremendously enjoyable, and an interesting choice as an interlude before continuing the narrative of Sparrowhawk.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tales from Earth Sea (The Earthsea Cycle, #5), Ursula K. Le Guin

Tales from Earthsea is a collection of fantasy stories and essays by American author Ursula K. Le Guin, published by Harcourt in 2001. It accompanies five novels (1968 to 2001) set in the fictional archipelago Earthsea.

The Finder. The school of magic is established on Roke island.

The Bones of the Earth. Ogion the Silent deals with an earthquake.

Darkrose and Diamond (1999). This features romance between the daughter of a witch and t
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
"That’s the art, eh? What to say, and when to say it. And the rest is silence.”
- Ursula K. Le Guin, Tales from Earthsea


Solid. A couple of the stories really resonated with me (The Finder, On the High Marsh, Dragonfly). I cried at the end of one, and one made me pause for half-a-day chewing on it. Overall, I prefer her novels (or novellas) and this showed in this series because I gravitated towards the longer stories. Like with Tehanu, Le Guin alters the form. She is focused as much on the commu
Ursula as wonderful as always.
Zitong Ren
Well, I enjoyed these short stories. There were good and provided the me with a bit more detail about the world and the characters that inhabit it. It was interesting reading on the backstories about certain events. I’ll just say that I wasn’t as invested in them as I would have liked. It wasn’t that they were bad, but rather, I just found myself not caring too much about the characters, even if the stories themselves were well written. I’m not going to review each short story individually, but ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a gift, from a friend who knew I'd read the Earthsea books (the first four) more than once.

These tales are based on the world of Earthsea, and the author reports that they are best read 'after' reading the first four novels of the Earthsea collection. I would concur, as it adds the necessary depth and context for entering the world of these tales.

The first 'tale' in this book is called "The Finder"... and I found myself quietly weeping near the end of it. Stunning, to be moved so.
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read nothing else from this collection, you should grab this to read ‘Dragonfly’. The other stories fill in bits and pieces of the background, or use the world to tell a new story that is small in scope compared to Ged’s. ‘Dragonfly’, on the other hand, is necessary (to my mind) to really understanding The Other Wind, and should definitely be read first. It introduces a character who becomes important, and events which are referred to throughout the novel.

As for the writing of the stories
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
UKL is one of my favorite authors of all time, one of two authors (along with Tolkien) whose fantasy I love because it feels real to me down to the deepest level. This book is five stories set in the same world as her Earthsea novels. All five are just jewels. They flesh out that universe a bit more, in quite interesting ways, and all are delightful in their own right, as well. One is from the time that Ged is Archmage. Another is from after his time. One is from long ago, telling something of h ...more
"Do you trust me, Dragonfly?"


"Will you trust me entirely, wholly-knowing that the risk I take for you is greater even than your risk in this venture?"


"Then you must tell me the word you will speak to the Doorkeeper."

She stared. "But I thought you'd tell it to me-the password."

"The password he will ask you for is your true name."

He let that sink in for a while, and then continued softly, "And to work the spell of semblance on you, to make it so complete and deep that the Masters of Ro
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
These stories were not nearly as compelling as the first four Earthsea books, either in the plot or the writing. Also, several stories seem overly concerned with demonstrating that women have more importance in Earthsea than the fist three books indicate, especially the last story, "Dragonfly." This story and the first one, "The Finder," read as though the author is trying to re-write women into the Earthsea stories as an afterthought. I didn't mind their near absence in the first three books, s ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tales from Earthsea is an anthology of five stories that take place at various time periods before, during, and after the previous four books. In the author’s introduction, she says these stories should be read after the first four books. I would definitely agree; I think some of these stories would be less meaningful without already knowing how they fit into the larger story. I normally find anthologies to be pretty unsatisfying, because the stories are so short and I like longer, meatier stori ...more
Dawn C
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit hit and miss, with a couple of stories being really interesting, while three of them were rather mediocre and forgettable imo. But overall Le Guin’s prose is beautiful and clear, and I’ve enjoyed listening to her words narrated by Jenny Sterlin while going through the Earthsea books.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: locus_winners
Wonderful tie-in stories into the world and story of Earthsea.

(more substantial review next week when I'm off the app)
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before bright Éa was, before Segoy
bade the islands be,
the wind of dawn blew on the sea.


Coming back once more to the classic fantasy series a decade after the publication of the last novel, Tehanu, thinking at the time that she had reached the end of her character’s tales and wanting – after being asked to write more stories – to explore her fantastical world from its past to its present time, Ursula Le Guin delves in the Tales from Earthsea, the fifth book of the Earthsea Cycle, into the
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Earthsea experience was a long time ago--it's been at least 10 years since I read any of them. Back then, I plowed through the original trilogy and was sort of surprised by Tehanu, which I found kind of slow. I told myself, "Newer Le Guin just isn't my thing."

But it turns out that I was wrong, not Le Guin; clearly I just needed to grow up a bit. These 5 stories showed me that sometimes thoughtful, strong, tree-like characters are more interesting than ACTION-PACKED ACTION. They're beautiful a
Michael Campbell
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been putting this one off for a while, because I knew it was a collection of stories versus an actual novel. I'm generally much pickier about short story collections and have a harder time keeping my interest in them.

This was really well done though. Parts were less interesting than others, but overall the quality was on par with the first four books of Earthsea. It gets away from the harsh realism of the last book, Tehanu, and it gets back to the magical mysticism of the original Earthsea
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
On the whole, a pretty interesting collection of stories. I'm still uneasy about the fact that LeGuin felt the need to go back and change Earthsea, make it more "politically correct"- but, if you can get over that, her writing is still quite good. "The Bones of the Earth" was probably my favorite story of five, brief and heart-wrenching. "The Finder" dragged on for a bit too long, I felt; "Darkrose and Diamond" had a bitter ending, not what I was expecting at all. All along, I cherished a foolis ...more
Overall Rating: 3.5*

It's cool how Ursula tried to show some cohesion between all the stories and the different events and histories that preceded them. The effort is very laudable, but the results weren't all that. I mean, yes, in regards to giving us a broader feel of Earthsea, she did a remarkable job, but as for reeling us in, getting us to feel for the characters, capture empathy and all that, it wasn't really working. Most of these stories were disjointed, or I never really got into them un
Fadi Antwan
I’m afraid I don’t enjoy anthologies much when they’re about characters I’m unfamiliar with.
M.J. Johnson
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ursula Le Guin is a very good writer and the 'Earthsea' series of books are worthwhile reading. I'm not a natural target when it comes to fantasy/sci-fi but I do appreciate and greatly admire the quality of Le Guin's writing. These short stories which are set at various times throughout the history of her invented world often relate to an event sometimes only touched on in the other books. We also meet some of the characters from the five main books in these tales. It also includes the story 'Dr ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ursula said womens rights!
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Silence is not enough, my lord...Silence is the answer to everything, and to nothing.”

Really wonderful book. I had gotten used to the novel-length pacing of the previous four books, but I found that this collection (of short stories) held my interest and maintained the same quality of story-telling and characters/character development. I want to say a few preliminary things before I get into my review, then I'll go story by story. One very useful piece of information for would-be readers before
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read Earthsea in the order that Ursula K. Le Guin recommended. You may think that the short stories are an addendum to the overall Earthsea narrative but Le Guin had a reading order in mind. I say this because I was debating about whether to skip this one and move right into The Other Wind but I'm glad I didn't. Also, one of the stories is a bridge between Tehanu and The Other Wind.

In the Foreword, it sounded as though Le Guin couldn't force it in herself to write the fifth Earthsea novel as a
R. Scot Johns
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
The more I read Le Guin the less I like her writing. She has no sense of pacing or plotting whatsoever, leaving the single "event" of each book or story until the last few pages, reached only after a slow and tedious preamble in which the characters sit around doing nothing (as if that's a plot point or an action of its own), and somehow we're supposed to identify with them in their non-quest for nothing. Some of her characters show promise, but we never see it come to true fruition.

I appreciate
Jen Jen
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each of these stories moved me to tears. They are so beautifully written in language that speak directly to the heart.
Jackie Guy
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Victoria said there has never been a man more on brand then our boy Ged, a true king, unparalleled😂
Sydney Stories
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.6/ 5
My e-copy also came with: a foreward, description of earthsea, and an afterward by leguin. The forward sets a scene of endless change and LeGuinn's challenge to make this collection accurate and true to what Earthsea would demand. You need to at least read A Wizard of Earthsea before this one, but reading more of the previous books isn't STRICTLY necessary. I will say I'm glad I did, though.

I've read and adored more than anything and any other book ever A Wizard of Earthsea. I despised Th
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a collection of short stories set in Earthsea universe. They span the period from several centuries prior to the first volume A Wizard of Earthsea to years after the fourth Tehanu.
This is the unique feature of SFF that if desired, you may get answers even to questions you haven’t initially even thought to ask. I’m sure that when Le Guin was writing A Wizard of Earthsea, she just based the mage academy on Roke island on ‘classical’ European university, were both the faculty and pupils wer
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can say it louder but not clearer, I love Le Guin's writing and it was the loveliest to come back to Earthsea and learn all the lore that there is in this book. Lowkey upset it ended.

P.S: I miss Ged <3 And Lebannen <3
Hiko Murs
Myeh x2.
Carolyn Klassen
Wow, she's a master. Ursula Le Guin crafted five stories worthy of being novels. Five stories that captured all of the stories of Earthsea and yet so few. She could go on forever and I would read them. She captivates me in so many ways, but especially for me, the way she writes with humility and modesty. Simple prose carries the weight of fantastic history. These aren't stories with fireworks, evil kings, and goblins (I'm looking at you, Tolkien), she entertains with cattle raising and quiet cha ...more
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Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more

Other books in the series

Earthsea Cycle (6 books)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
  • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)
  • The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)
  • Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4)
  • The Other Wind (Earthsea Cycle, #6)

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